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Adalo allows users to build their own apps without coding

David Adkin, Adalo Co-Founder & CEO, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss on the company’s latest funding, growth outlook, and making app development more accessible.

Video Transcript

- Well, our next guest says that people would. We're joined now by David Adkin, co-founder and CEO of the no-code builder Adalo for our Road to Recovery segment sponsored by Wells Fargo. So David, you and I were just chatting briefly in the break. And I had mentioned that I have many, many, many app ideas that I have wanted to make and can't. Because I don't know how to code. And I'm glad to know that there is a service out there now, or a website that I can go to, to do just that. I'm curious to know, how many more apps or websites do you think would be out there if coding was an accessible skill for everyone?

DAVID ADKIN: Yeah, I mean, we're talking, today, about only 0.3% of the world knows how to code. So you know, it's over 7 billion people that can't create apps today. So it's a lot of ideas out there. And we're seeing that across every types of industries, everyone from, you know, non-technical entrepreneurs that have some budding idea for some billion-dollar business that they want to start to also, you know, all the local businesses all across, you know, the nation and the world, really, that now are able to create, you know, apps on their own, even all the way up to large enterprises that, you know, are building on Adalo specifically for, you know, better interactions with their customers, and clients, and communities.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Hey David, Brian Cheung here. And by the way, Kristin, for the record, did say she's going to loop me in on some of those ideas, which means I'm going to get a little bit of a cut off that.

- No, I didn't. No, I didn't.

BRIAN CHEUNG: No, but I did want to-- we're not going to speak to that. I wanted to ask you a little bit about just your company itself in terms of the funding. Where are you at in terms of fundraising? What do you hope to do in terms of scale with your company, let's say, two or three years down the line?

DAVID ADKIN: Yeah, let's see. So we launched at the end of 2019 kind of publicly. We had a little bit of a seed round from Rainfall Ventures the beginning of 2020. And then we just most recently announced a-- a round-- an $8 million round led by Tiger Global. That was absolutely amazing. We're really excited to really kind of expand and grow this to kind of really take off to have huge potentials. We also have some participation from the CEO of Zapier and the CTO of GitHub, Jason Warner. It's been really awesome to see, kind of, others in the tech community also kind of embrace this no-code movement as well.

- Curious to know, as you were just mentioning how much you recently raised, how difficult was it trying to get capital at a time when so many businesses have had to, frankly, just shutter their doors, and we've really seen so many people struggling economically and financially throughout the pandemic? How was your company impacted, if at all?

DAVID ADKIN: Yeah, it was a little bit interesting. Because we were kind of born into this new kind of remote world, right? When we closed our seed round of funding at the very beginning of 2020, and then the kind of pandemic hit, and-- and you know, we were starting to then hire all across the-- the nation and-- and all across the world, which has been a really fascinating thing for us to be kind of born into this remote-first kind of culture from a company perspective.

And then it's also been amazing to see what our makers are doing. We have not only people that are creating apps for other people, we have an Adalo experts program where, you know, they work with either local businesses to create apps for them or startups that have ideas. And they'll-- they'll make whatever app idea that they have. So that's been really cool, to see them create jobs inside of that.

And then also, those businesses are looking for new digital ways to connect with their customers and clients. And Adalo has really allowed them to quickly not only create them, but change them as the pandemic has changed. You know, we've seen them-- one-- one of the kind of powerful things with Adalo is just how easy it is to change things. You know, in the kind of traditional development process, those types of things can take longer and longer. But when you can quickly adapt and change things on the fly, we're-- we're really seeing a ton of-- of companies be able to take advantage of that.

BRIAN CHEUNG: David, who is your target demo with Adalo? Because on one hand, it seems like, yes, this could be very useful for anyone that doesn't necessarily have that traditional STEM training. But something that I'm thinking about too is this could be great for some of those older, maybe multigenerational people who have maybe missed the boat on learning how to code, you know, HTML, or-- or-- or CSS, or what have you in terms of getting an app launched without any sort of real technical know-how.

DAVID ADKIN: Yeah, so we definitely have, you know, your non-technical founders that are trying to-- you know, they have-- they have some sort of problem that they see in their community. And that could be, you know, either in a larger community, or we are also seeing that in, you know, areas where development isn't as popular. So they don't really have anyone to turn to to create apps, right? Like, there is no one around them that knows how to code.

So it's been really cool to see that in-- in tons of different countries. You know, we have over 200,000 makers all across the world, you know, in Japan, and India, and in Europe, and in South America, and in the States. So-- so that's been kind of amazing to see.

We also have tons of businesses that are building specific apps to better interact with their customers. You know, they used to do that either via, like, spreadsheets or emails, and docs, and kind of these back and forth processes that, now, they're able to automate that and create a much better experience for their customers and clients, you know, whether that is a local fitness gym that, you know, previously there would be no way that they would spend the average cost of making an app. This is the first version. If it's $70,000, there's no way they could do that before. But by greatly kind of reducing that barrier and allowing them to create it themselves, they're able to make much better experiences for their customers and clients and connect with them in much better ways.

- Now David, anyone that's made a website on Squarespace, or WordPress, or Wix, for example, knows that there are limitations to this kind of plug and play method of creating something like a website, especially if you don't have any, you know, coding or developer experience. I'm curious to know what the limitations are with Adalo in terms of making some of these apps. What kind of complexity can your clients necessarily expect once they do start to build their apps using Adalo?

DAVID ADKIN: Yeah, so that was definitely something we focused a lot on in 2020. You know, when we first launched, it was really simple apps that you could create. And our whole goal was, how could we add more and more power to this without making it more complicated? And a lot of that is combining code and no-code, right? There are more technically minded people and developers out there. How can they add back into the system so that you aren't locked and stuck of what you want to create?

So one of the-- the big things we did was launch our component marketplace. And that allows any third-party developer to create a coded component and then plug that back into Adalo so that anyone who doesn't know how to code can then just simply drag that into their app and then make it. So if-- before we launched that, we didn't have the ability for you to make a podcast app. Because we didn't have an audio player component. And then somebody made an audio player, a QR code scanner, all these things.

So you really can get a lot more advanced with it because of this combination between code and no-code. And we've done it in a very thoughtful way where you don't see any of that code, right? That's a whole nother system that the developers can then kind of plug back into. But that's been really powerful. So then you're not kind of stuck of what you want to create.

We definitely kind of lie perfectly in-- in the app side of the-- the-- the kind of ecosystem. There are other no-code platforms for creating games and things like that. We-- we don't really specialize in games. We're more, how can we improve a process that you have in a community or-- or at a company? So-- so games is not-- not really kind of in our expertise right now. We don't necessarily have any VR or AR type of capabilities just yet as well-- so a little more kind of on that traditional app side of things right now.